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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zeopane wins at RICE!!!

Zeopane and I finally has something to show for the marathon 3 month effort that really all started in the second week of January. Even though we'd identified the product in early December, we didn't get down to beginning work on it till after the Winter break.

The next two months were really an experience to be remembered. Lost all contact with the rest of the world for a few days in between. Just managed to get by assignments, exams, classes and finally ventured out for my 4 week sojourn in the U.S that started on March 11th.

Carnegie Mellon University's McGinnis Ventures was truly an eye-opener on what some of these competitions can be. The competition far exceeded our expectations. Ventures with funding, sales orders, all due-diligence complete and some even already functioning. How were we - this fictional company with no US-Experience, no-Pharma Industry experience and no funding of any sort (even my CMU Ticket was self-funded :-)) expected to compete. We got hammered and did not even make the finals. Got some feedback which read - FDA Comments Naive!!!

We at Zeopane decided to turn the tables around, did our due-diligence on FDA in US in terms of how expensive it can be, SFDA in China and turned the story around to a China Story. This clearly was a great strategy. Even if we weren't the Pharma experts, we now clearly were the China Experts with 3 Chinese looking people on the team. With me, the Technology and Diabetes expert on the team, we were almost a complete team.

At Rice, we got some great comments. Some people rated us the best presentation among all the teams they saw. We had quite a few people convinced that Zeopane microneedles was truly a great product. We had one China based VC expressing an interest in talking further with us. Another India Fund wanted to know if I wanted to explore entering the India market with this product. Need to follow up with these two and all the other contacts we've made at Rice in between catching up with all the classes and exams I missed during my 1 month vacation in US.

Overall, by the end of the Rice Competition, HKUST and Zeopane had made its impact. The most unforgettable moment was when a couple of guys (not from HKUST) went up to the Karaoke Stage and started screaming "Zeopane, Zeopane". :-)

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